Also posted on Phillies Nation.
There is no other way to put it. The 12-3 loss to the Florida Marlins was the Phillies worst loss of the season. The early morning thunderstorms in the Philadelphia region set the tone for a miserable day. Blame Ed Rapuano. Blame Jamie Moyer. Blame Jayson Werth. Blame anybody. The Phillies were awful on all cylinders.
Actually, Moyer didn't pitch that bad. He pitched 5+ innings giving up 3 runs, 2 earned. He gave up 11 hits, but they were all singles-- bloop singles. The Marlins weren't hitting the ball hard against Moyer, who has had so much success against the Fish throughout his career.
The Phillies were the first to get on the board. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino each reached base to start the first inning. Chase Utley flew out to center field, and Rollins advanced to third. Ryan Howard smoked the ball to right, but Jermey Hermida made a spectacular leaping catch against the wall. Or was it? It may have bounced off the wall and into his glove, but it was ruled a catch. Victorino was doubled off first base for the unconventional double play. Rollins tagged from third on the sacrifice fly, crossing the plate before Victorino was out.
The Phils held the 1-0 lead until the fifth. Jorge Cantu, Wes Helms, and Cody Ross each hit consecutive RBI singles, and the Marlins jumped to a 3-1 lead.
The Phillies had trouble manufacturing runs off Josh Johnson (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 SO). The Phillies were hitting the ball hard, but hit into a lot of tough luck. The Phillies are having problems with runners in scoring position, but they only had three runners past first base. Luckily, the Marlins stranded 12 men themselves. The Phillies were able to keep it close-- that was until the floodgates opened in a controversial seventh inning.
With runners at the corners in the sixth, Howard struck out. The pitch was clearly low, but Rapuano called it a strike. He had an inconsistent strike zone all day. In the first inning, Utley clearly did not agree with some of the pitches Rapuano called. It seemed like Johnson was getting certain pitches called, and Moyer wasn't.
In the seventh, Rodrigo Lopez threw a pitch to Wes Helms, which looked like a strike. Victorino disagreed, and threw his arms up in the air as he stood in center. Nobody seemed to notice, except Rapuano, who ejected Victorino. At first, Victorino jogged in like it was no big deal, but once he reached the infield, he sprinted towards the home plate umpire. Pumped up from last night's UFC fight, Victorino was restrained by teammates Paul Bako and Howard. Jayson Werth came into replace Victorino, and that was when the doors opened for the Marlins.
The sold-out crowd was into it, booing every pitch that wasn't a strike. However, it didn't take long for the fans to head to the exits.
Chris Coghlan (4-for-6) has been trouble all series. With the bases loaded and two outs, Lopez could see his way out of the inning. That wasn't the case as Coghlan singled to center. Werth was unable to keep the ball in front of him as he completely missed it. Three runs scored on the error.
The Marlins weren't quite finished. Hanley Ramirez doubled over the head of Werth. Jorge Cantu singled to Werth. Instead of getting the ball into the infield, Werth fired home, and the ball scooted past the catcher. The Marlins blew the game wide open, 9-1.
The Phillies had a long ways to rally, but showed signs of life when Pedro Feliz homered. The Marlins got those runs back against Brad Lidge, who gave up a RBI single to Hanley Ramirez and a two-run homer to Helms.
It was a pathetic day for the Phillies, committing three errors, managing just six hits, and giving up 12 runs. The lead in the division is down to four games, thanks to the sweep.